Cape Fox Corporation (CFC) has employees and Shareholders who are on the front lines of the fight over COVID-19. This year for our CFC Shareholder Spotlight, we are recognizing one of the Shareholders on those front lines, Jennifer Tavares. Jennifer Tavares actually began her career as a pre-school teacher. However, throughout her life, she had a passion for medicine and healthcare. Her husband helped her realize that instead of teaching and caring for young kids, she could expand her skills and do something she loved. So, Jennifer took a leap in her life to do something for which she was passionate, healthcare.
As an Alaska Native, she was able to earn a grant from the Ketchikan Indian Community (KIC). The Education and Training resources from KIC provide opportunities for Alaska Natives to further their education through grants and scholarships. KIC aims to identify and decrease barriers while also promoting well-being and cultural heritage. Jennifer was able to change her career, further her education, and find a job that matches her healthcare career goals.
After making a life-changing decision to follow her dreams of a career in healthcare, Jennifer became a Certified Nursing Assistant (CNA) working at PeaceHealth Ketchikan Medical Center as a Patient Team Support member for the past eight years. Jennifer’s job allows her to help multiple departments throughout PeaceHealth. Her administrative duties include, timekeeping, ordering supplies, assisting managers and unit secretary. She gets to utilize her skills in multiple departments as well. She assists in labor/delivery, social work, infusion, medical surge, respiratory therapy, ICU, and the ER. For Jennifer, being able to work in so many different areas of the hospital, and doing such various activities, keeps her job fresh and interesting.
This year brought new challenges to the world, but in particular to hospitals, nurses, doctors, and all our front-line medical workers. Jennifer was fortunate that her work schedule and routines were not affected, but she commented that the biggest effect COVID-19 had on her position was to patient care and that was challenging. Jennifer assisted in staffing of nurses and ordering supplies. Once COVID-19 began, even those administrative tasks were affected. At the onset of COVID-19, no one knew what to expect. Were enough ventilators being ordered, were enough nurses on staff, etc. Jennifer remarked that PeaceHealth has continued to do a great job in being prepared during this pandemic. At this point, nine months since the start of our awareness and preparation, Jennifer said, “the hospital knows more about what to expect and how to plan.”
Even with the challenges and changes COVID-19 has affected, Jennifer still feels enthusiastic about being in the healthcare field. Her advice to anyone wanting to take the steps into becoming an important member of the medical community is, “healthcare is always needed. It is an essential trade and even though it is easier to start when you are younger, it is never too late. Plus, there are so many different areas of specialty to interest so many different types of people.” But, the one piece of advice Jennifer would like to impart is, “Just do the best you can because hard work does pay off!” This is excellent advice for all of us to remember during these challenging times. Let’s all do the best we can.
Life is not all work for Jennifer. In her spare time, she loves spending time with her family, taking pictures, doing remodeling of their rental properties, and of course, walking her three dogs. Jennifer has a great support system and enjoys activities that help her unwind after a long day, even if one of her dogs is a puppy that keeps her free time exciting. CFC is proud to have a Shareholder like Jennifer who has a passion for what they do, exemplifies family and heritage, and is a front-line worker protecting others.